Several other prominent Red Sox players — most of their players of color — will not be in attendance either, including Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, David Price, Hector Velázquez and Christian Vázquez.
The main reason for Cora’s absence is the government’s poor handling of Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Cora is the first Puerto Rican manager to win a World Series and has used his platform to speak out about his home.
“As everyone knows, Puerto Rico is very important to me,” Cora said, via El Nuevo Día. “During the winter, I spent a lot of time at home visiting family and friends. Unfortunately we are still struggling. Some are absent from basic needs, others without electricity, and many houses and schools are still in disrepair, a year and a half after Hurricane Maria.
“Although the government of the United States has helped, there is still a long way to go, that is OUR reality. I have continually used my voice so that we Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence is not different. Therefore, at this time, I do not feel comfortable celebrating in the White House.”
Cora has been outspoken about Puerto Rico
Cora has long been a critic of President Donald Trump, publicly so since at least Hurricane Maria. A year after the storm, Trump disputed the death toll, saying there were “6 to 18 deaths” after a study showed that 3,000 people died, which aggravated Cora.
“It’s actually disrespectful for my country,” Cora said, via the Boston Globe. “We see it that way. I know he probably doesn’t feel that way.
“Hey, man, thank you for helping us. He went down there; he did what he did. I hate talking about politics and all that. But I think this is more than politics. This is about a country that really suffered.”
Beyond mere rhetoric, Trump’s administration has slow-walked funding the recovery, especially compared to how quickly aid was administered in Texas for Hurricane Harvey.
During the government shutdown, Trump mulled taking away disaster-relief funds for Puerto Rico in order to fund his wall on the southern border, despite the island suffering $100 billion in damage. Trump has even lied about how much aid he has sent to Puerto Rico, falsely claiming that he had sent $90 billion when the White House acknowledged that only half that amount had been allocated.